Older jars with zinc and plastic lids

tclynxMarch 5, 2009

I found some old ball perfect mason jars with the old zinc and plastic lids.

I found that the regular mouth jar rings fit on them.

Question is, would any of you use them for canning? Or should I save them for other uses?

I notice that the glass around the rim of the jar is pretty thick. These jars are kinda neat in that the bottoms are somewhat square.

I would be totally into them for dry storage if the mouths were wider but since they are regular mouth, they are not as convenient for such use.

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Zinc lids today are a no no.. If the current Ball lids and rings fit them, they should be fine. Zinc lids have not been used for many years now and can seriously affect the canned product. Dry storage is OK. Those old jars are really rugged, and were made long before the current glass processes were established. The plastic may also be 'bakelite', which is not a good thing to have around foods today.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 10:45AM
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I wasn't planning on using those old lids, I just figured mentioning them might help "date" the jars. Those old lids actually seem like some zinc or galvanized coated metal lid with what seems like a plastic seal or liner inside the top. Definitely doesn't seem like what I think of as bakelite.

Anyway, that gives me a few extra jars on hand then.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 1:12PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Oh, I tought it was a screw on plastic cover. eBay sometimes has vintage canning jars, and I think there is an antique dealer who also offers such things as collectables. The zinc texture and color might look like the coat on chainlink fences. These also have zinc for rust prevention, but are fine for outdoors. If the jars can take regular Ball lids and threadded rings, you an switch. The current Ball PLASTIC covers are lot leak proof, but work well on stuff like pickles where the metal lid is under the plastic screw on cover. Thats a nice way to give as gifts too. No one likes accidentally tipping over a jar that has just a lid on it. My guess is the jars are probably from the 1940's or earlier, and were only around a few years. The all glass jars with glass domed lids with rubber rings and wire bail latches were very common for a long time too.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 1:48PM
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Yep found a lot of those all glass bail top jars too but we tend to treat them more like collector items rather than trying to do anything like canning with them.

I definitely only intend to actually can things using the rings and fresh new dome lids.

Been fun looking through jars to see what the modern rings fit. I especially like some of the classico jars that we have around. Especially the pint and a half size. Why the heck don't they sell them, people love that size since a pint is often just a tad too small but a quart is way too much.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 2:42PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I gave over 12 cases of quart jars away to a guy who was planning on becoming a farmer. He wasn't aware that they don't use the glass top type much anymore, but at least they got a good home elsewhere.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2009 at 11:40PM
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The older zinc lids had a white GLASS inside and used a red rubber ring. The only parts that came in contact with the food were the rubber and the glass and the jar of course. If I had those jars and could find new rubber rings, I wouldn't "can" in them but would store dry beans, rice herbs etc.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 7:01AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Are you referring to the glass 'domed' lids. If so, there are still several suppliers for the rubber rings. The rings also hav an 'pull tab' on the out edge for releasing a vacuum. The wires that hold the domed lid on are plated with zinc to rrevent rusting.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rubber ring source. Reg or wide

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 5:37PM
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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

Ken -- the glass dome-tops are different totally from the glass inside those zinc lids. You can still find a few rubber rings on the shelf, especially if you have an old mom-and-pop hardware that's been there for a long time. I'm sure they don't make them anymore. A friend recently gave me her supply when she cleaned out canning drawers. The last ones I bought were probably 5-6 years ago.

As for the jars, I use the old thick ones all the time. The tops have been the same standard size forever. If those jars haven't been clanked around, they should serve you well. I far prefer an old thick-glass jar to a brand new thin one. In fact, this is the crux of the arguement about mayo jars used for canning. They're much thinner glass. The old mayos, however, are thicker glass than the new Balls. Thus, stronger glass and a more generous sealing surface.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 11:30AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I do not use mayo jars and now that they are moysly plastic, all the worst. I had just one mayo jar that lasted about 5 minutes in the canner and broke. What a mess! Check out this link..

Here is a link that might be useful: Kilner jars

    Bookmark   March 10, 2009 at 2:07PM
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The jars you speak of with the plastic flat under the zinc ring are newer than the jars Rockguy speaks of. I used those glass flats when I first started canning over 50 years ago. One had to place a rubber ring on the flat. These rubbers had no pull tab and were smaller than the bail type rubber. I also used the bail type jars.
If new modern flats and rings fit, I would use the jars for HWB canning. I would toss the zinc rings and not even use them for storage. You could use the plastic flat. I don't know if zinc is bad for you.
I have a half gallon jar here with the zinc lid with a milk glass lid attached to the underside. One would place the rubber ring into the lid.
Inside the lid reads made for Ball mason jars. Genuine zinc. Anyone older than me, may remember these.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 8:13AM
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I use the old zinc lids (yes, there is plastic in some - not bakelite) & the old jars to store dried beans. They work quite well and look pretty.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2009 at 4:16PM
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shirleywny5, too much zinc can be bad for a person. Not likely to be a problem with the zinc lids since the zinc is not supposed to come in contact with the food. However, zinc should not be crossed with acidic food at any time as it can make people sick. Most instances of stuff like this would be when say apple cider is cooked in galvanized tubs or something.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2009 at 9:40PM
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